Comer Says He’s Preparing Biden Family Subpoenas After Finding 2 Payments to Joe Biden

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
November 3, 2023Politics
Comer Says He’s Preparing Biden Family Subpoenas After Finding 2 Payments to Joe Biden
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky), chairman of the House Oversight Committee speaks during a House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Sept. 28, 2023. (Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has announced he’s ready to begin serving subpoenas to members of President Joe Biden’s family and the effort could move forward “in a matter of days.”

Mr. Comer indicated his subpoena plans during an interview with Newsmax host Eric Bolling on Thursday.

“This has taken a long time. Obviously, the Biden families have fought us, but we’ve built a case that will win in court, and we’ve made it all the way to the personal bank records of the Bidens,” the Republican lawmaker said.

In recent weeks, Mr. Comer has identified two checks that Joe Biden received between his time as vice president and his return to the White House as president that he believes indicate Joe Biden participated in his family’s business dealings. His brother, James Biden, sent him a $40,000 check on Sept. 3, 2017, and a $200,000 check on March 1, 2018.

While James Biden labeled both checks to his brother as loan repayments, Mr. Comer noted that James Biden cut the $200,000 check to Joe Biden on the same day he received an equivalent loan payment from Americore; a now bankrupt rural hospital operator with which James Biden had been involved. House Republicans have previously alleged witnesses to Americore’s business dealings claimed James Biden sought to attract both U.S. and international investors with promises of access to a future Biden administration, well before Joe Biden had officially announced his 2020 presidential run.

Mr. Comer has similarly asserted James Biden’s $40,000 check to Joe Biden came at the end of a series of transactions from a Chinese energy company called CEFC to businesses operated by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

Mr. Comer, citing bank records he’s reviewed, has alleged an affiliate of CEFC sent $5 million to one of Hunter Biden’s business ventures, known as Hundson West III, on Aug 8, 2017. Hudson West III sent $400,000 to another entity owned by Hunter Biden called Owasco, P.C. the same day. On Aug. 14, 2017, Owasco, P.C. sent $150,000 to an entity operated by James Biden called Lion Hall Group. James Biden’s wife, Sara Biden, moved $50,000 from Lion Hall Group to their personal bank account on Aug. 28, 2017, just days before they cut their $40,000 check to Joe Biden. Mr. Comer noted this series of transactions came after Hunter Biden sent a message to a CEFC associate on July 30, 2017, in which Hunter Biden demanded a $10 million payment from CEFC and said his father, Joe Biden, was sitting beside him as he made that payment demand.

Comer Could Move On Subpoenas in ‘Matter of Days’

While Mr. Comer’s claims about the two loan repayment checks rely on circumstantial evidence, he expressed confidence in his conclusions, telling Newsmax, “Now we can trace the money that Joe Biden got, the two checks, back to influence peddling schemes.”

“So now that we can trace the money, we have enough bank records that we can bring the Bidens in,” Mr. Comer continued. “So we’re preparing everything now to be able to serve them and try to bring them in.”

Mr. Comer said he’s expecting a couple more sets of bank documents to review before issuing any subpoenas, but said once those records come through, “When that all comes in—it should be in a matter of days—then I think the American people who want to see this family held accountable, I think they’re gonna be very satisfied with the next step.”

Mr. Bolling repeatedly asked Mr. Comer to specify which members of the Biden family he would subpoena, but the Republican lawmaker didn’t single out any by name. Mr. Comer said he believes at least nine Biden family members received payments in connection with influence peddling schemes involving Joe Biden but suggested some of the family members may not have been directly aware of what was going on. With respect to a subpoena for President Biden specifically, Mr. Comer said that he would likely only testify during an impeachment hearing.

Mr. Comer’s comments about subpoenas came on the same day House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said he expects to decide “very soon” whether to move beyond the current House impeachment inquiry of President Biden and begin pursuing articles of impeachment.

White House, Democrats Push Back

The Biden White House has pushed back on Mr. Comer’s suggestion that the 2017 and 2018 checks to Joe Biden amount to any evidence of wrongdoing.

Ian Sams, a special assistant to the president and a spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office, has emphasized that the two checks came through to Joe Biden when he was out of office. Mr. Sams has also insisted the two checks were for the exact “loan repayment” reason stated in the memo line.

“Comer’s financial records show Joe Biden (when he was out of office, no less) giving his brother *his own money*, then his brother paying him back, and Comer claims it’s ‘bribery,'” Mr. Sams wrote in an X post on Wednesday. “These extreme House Republicans have officially jumped the shark. In case that wasn’t clear already.”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, similarly dismissed the two checks in a Wednesday interview with progressive political podcaster Bryan Tyler Cohen.

“One brother gives one brother money, the other brother pays it back. No one is elected at all. They’re both private citizens. What are we talking about? Yeah. Okay. ‘Oh, well, it could be this. It could be that. We think it’s this.’ No evidence! We’re back to the same thing,” Mr. Moskowitz said. “Listen, James, this is your friend Jared talking to you. Don’t make me continue to embarrass you in committee.”

While President Biden’s allies have insisted the checks were a simple loan repayment, Mr. Comer has continued to question the documentation for the original loan payments Joe Biden allegedly sent his brother for which he was repaid. Mr. Comer has also said that even if there was a loan, the financial arrangement may still run afoul of tax laws.

“The Internal Revenue Code has specific requirements for delineating and reporting ‘below-market [rate] loans’ from gifts. While there are some exceptions, for example loans of $10,000 or less, the payment in question would not appear exempt from such requirements if it is a loan,” Mr. Comer said in an Oct. 26 statement. “Indeed, there appears to have been no interest paid on the ‘loan’ based upon the White House’s own representations. The current lack of documentation leaves reason to doubt claims that this transaction was repayment for a legal loan.”

Hunter Biden Alleges ‘Political Weaponization’ of His Addiction

Hunter Biden also spoke out on the topic this week, alleging a political effort to attack his father through him. In a Nov. 2 USA Today op-ed, Hunter Biden specifically alleged his personal struggle with drug addiction and sobriety has been the subject of a “political weaponization” and has been a central aspect of Republican investigations.

“My struggles and my mistakes have been fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign against [President Biden], and an all-out annihilation of my reputation through high-pitched but fruitless congressional investigations and, more recently, criminal charges for possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days five years ago – charges that appear to be the first-ever of their kind brought in the history of Delaware,” Hunter Biden wrote.

In June, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss announced a tentative plea deal he’d arranged with Hunter Biden, in which the president’s son would plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter a pretrial diversion agreement over charges he unlawfully possessed a firearm while he was an active user of controlled substances. That plea deal ultimately fell apart and the initial charges were dismissed.

Mr. Weiss has since gained expanded prosecutorial powers as special counsel and has pursued new felony gun charges against Hunter Biden. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Weiss will also pursue new tax charges against the president’s son.

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